[Continued from here.]
1. At the beginning of July, Javi and I celebrated our 1st anniversary with a really amazing day. I won’t recap since I wrote a whole entry about it. It was lovely though.
2. Towards the middle of the month, Javi’s sister Cora and her boyfriend Gabriel came to visit us. It was a great weekend full of touristy adventure: the Institute of Contemporary Art, eating seafood by the docks, the Omni theater at the Science museum, and the Aquarium. So much touristing. I’m bummed I can’t find some of the sweet pictures I know were taken that weekend.
3. At the end of July and into August, Javi and I took a trip to Puerto Rico and Cape Cod to spend time with our families.
Honorable Mention: I started watching Downton Abbey. Great decision.
1. My brother, Brendan, and Amy got engaged!!! At the Cape, in the Cape house, right before we all got there for the week. It was a full celebration when we were all down there.
2. By this point, the garden was in full swing! Katie had a lot of success too! Who woulda thought. I felt really proud of the progression and the fruit it bore!
3. We had a cookout at my parents’ house in Worcester with friends! A lot of my college friends had never seen my home before so I took the opportunity to invite some of them over for an end-of-summer cookout.
Honorable Mention: The Ice Bucket Challenge swept the nation and raised a bunch of money for a great cause.
1. Things started up again: two more grad classes, work kicked it up a notch, and I began my fourth improv class. I really felt ready for all of this to happen. September always seems like a good months in terms of productivity. One tradition I have appreciated lately is the beginning of the year dinner at the Theological Institute. This was the beginning of my third year so it is the third one I’ve attended. My mom, Aunt Jo, Javi, Brendan, and Amy came to support me.
2. Javi and I went apple picking with Katie, Kevin, and Kev. This was special. I’ve got to give Katie some kudos for making it happen. She loves Fall and that really enhances the Falls of all those around her.
3. Amy asked me to be her Matron of Honor!!
Honorable Mention: Javi and I went to the Boston stop on the Last Comic Standing tour! We watched all season and were psyched to get to see them live.
1. Katie and I were blessed with the opportunity to go to New York to see Ashlie in her 8th month of pregnancy. We helped her mother-in-law plan a baby shower in her honor and then spent the Columbus Day weekend celebrating with her and Josh!
2. I was fortunate enough to spend another day with my mom, aunts, and cousin celebrating the season of Fall. We began at my aunt’s by spoiled by homemade maple scones and homemade pumpkin spice lattes. She also gave us all mason jars of pumpkin spice granola. We continued the day with travels to an apple orchard, the lovely Nashoba winery, and a delicious lunch in the middle-of-nowhere Massachusetts. I am always so joyful to spend time with my family.
3. Halloween! I tried some really cool makeups this Halloween.
4. Javi and I spent a really lovely and romantic Fall day exploring a new apple orchard and the beautiful foliage surrounding it.
Honorable Mention: Jen and Tyler’s wedding! We got doooooown at that fiesta.
November is another one of those craaaazy months (along with May) because there are a lot of birthdays and a big holiday and we celebrate everything big!
1. Emilia and Jared’s wedding! Wow, what a weekend. We reunited with old friends, spend quality time with everyone, and dancedancedanced. The ceremony was holy and beautiful and the reception was swanky and way too cool for school because it was in a restaurant in the middle of Copley Square.
2. My dad’s surprise 60th birthday party! This was one of the most special days of the year. My dad always said he wanted a big 60th birthday party and my mom did an amazing job planning a surprise party that he never found out about until the right moment – he was totally surprised.
It was also my mom’s birthday and Javi’s birthday in the weeks following. We celebrated my mom’s birthday by going out to breakfast the day after the big party and we celebrated Javi’s birthday (which was on Thanksgiving) by getting friends together one night for dinner at one of his favorite restaurants.
3. JOHN PAUL STEWARD DILL WAS BORN!!! I cannot believe Ashlie and Josh made a human. So many congratulations for their beautiful son and for being the strongest woman ever through labor pains.
Honorable Mention: I got to join Amy on her first wedding dress shopping day! It was her mom, my mom, her maid of honor Molly, me, and Amy. It was a really special day. She is so beautiful!
December, not surprisingly, started to run me down. The winter settled in, my grad work was tough, and I just got tired. Nonetheless, blessings were still abundant, praise God.
1. We had a Yankee Swap at our apartment. We had about 20 people over (“fit em in!”) and it went really well. I think the highlight was Javi (who works for a Shutterfly-affiliated company) printed out all sorts of stuff with our friend Rich’s face on it. Stickers, a pad of paper, a placemat, a phone case, a traveler’s mug, you name it. When someone opened the big box, there was a slew of hilarity and confusion that swept over the room. Biggest yankee swap hit ever.
2. Things did wind down: I finished my fourth improv class with a really fun student showcase show. I put my head down and pushed forward at work to get everything tied up before the Christmas break and I had success there. School dug its heels in deep but I worked hard and passed everything in on time (praise God). This semester was challenging and I was grateful to feel good about the work I did and moving forward.
3. Christmas! Javi celebrated Christmas for the first time with my family in Worcester, which was really nice. It was a slower pace for him, no doubt (my family goes to bed around 11 while his stayed up until 5 am on Christmas Eve), but there was lots of joy. A few days after Christmas, we traveled down to Puerto Rico for the New Year! Goodness gracious, it is so good to celebrate the New Year in warm weather. There is a whole life to it that I never knew!
Honorable Mention: Serial finished up. Which is either a good thing or a bad thing, I can’t tell.
I can’t help but insert this here:
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…” C.S. Lewis
What a beautiful year. I’m glad I put all of this in one place, although it is overwhelming to reflect upon. I’m trying to find some takeaway points…one seems to be that this year has been a time of finding myself. And a year of celebrating friends and family. Personally, I have been able to explore, learn and grow in many different ways. Relationally, I have been able to spend a lot of time with a lot of people who are very dear to me. I’m so grateful for that.
Before I go, I will say is that I am feeling stirrings of change. I’ve gone through some intense periods of growth this past year and it feels time to start taking some steps forward according to that growth. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I trust I’ll figure something out. January is a wonderful time for renewal and I plan on riding that wave.